Hellions have taken some of the most mentally unstable characters and presented them with the source of their trauma. When they head into the orphanage Havoc spent his childhood; chaos is certain to ensue. Come check out HELLIONS #2 by Marvel Comics!
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 22, 2020
Previously in Hellions: Mister Sinister is again pulling the strings against mutantkind. Havoc and Psylocke are sent to take a team of destructive mutants to burn some angst against one of Sinister’s defunct cloning labs. However, Havoc has just returned from a mission that caused him to burn a human alive in a rage. How will his anger show when the defunct cloning lab is in the basement of the orphanage where Havoc grew up?
A REFORMED HAVOC
The Hellions are sent to Omaha, Nebraska to help destroy an old orphanage. This building is set on top of Mister Sinister’s cloning lab. As they explore, the mutant Empath distorts Greycrow’s emotions, activating Nanny’s motherly senses. This results in Greycrow simply shooting and killing Empath. Havoc is disturbed by these events and thinks he shouldn’t be here by Psylocke consoles him and tries to keep him focused.
In the basement, they plant explosives for the demolition project but are attacked by the legacy Marauders led by Madelyne Pryor. Pryor plays with Havoc’s emotions and Greycrow has a hard time fighting his old companions despite them likely being Sinister’s clones. Many of the Hellions are captured except for Psylocke. However since Psylocke is retreating from this battle, Wild Child sees an opportunity to become the alpha and strikes her.
FACING YOUR TRAMA
There are a lot of characters here that don’t really seem needed. Empath is here as a throwback to the original Hellions but his ultimate purpose is to get killed. Does Orphan-Maker even have a line of meaningful dialogue? He says “Hey” once, “Gahh” another time, and one line during the fighting sequence. On the page he is visually cool but unless I missed something; he seems to be pointless. The main characters are rather cool. Havoc and Greycrow have so much emotion going on during this issue that I am immediately drawn and attached to them. And perhaps that is why the other characters seem so pale in comparison.
The theme of this story seems to be about trauma and you handle it. Greycrow handles his struggles with violence but his hesitation is clear when he faces the legacy Marauders. Havoc is having issues controlling his rage and is suddenly engaged with Madelyne Pryor. Havoc’s history with Pryor is complicated at best and is sure to cause more inner turmoil. The seeds are set to see some real development of these two characters and the creative team laid it down well.
RACISM AND MUTANT PERSECUTION
At the beginning of the book, we see three cops talking about the mutant nation and a black cop uses the term “muties”. Another cop then states that you can’t use the term anymore and talk about their diplomatic immunity. Considering all that is happening, it feels a little on the nose. I am sure this draft was written prior to the events that started the recent protest, but I can’t help view the comic through the lens of current events. The implication here is that mutants are treated the same way that a black man is in current day. I know X-Men have always had this social commentary running at its foundations but this feels extremely on point.
Visually, I really enjoyed the artwork in the book. There is an emphasis on characters. Havoc, Psylocke, Greycrow, and Madelyne Pryor have a huge page presence where everything fades into the background. It tells me that they are really putting an emphasis on the characters here and that reinforces the theme of overcoming trauma. The stand out image is Madelyne Pryor being introduced on the page and the look on Havoc’s face in response. It is dynamic and I know what Havoc is thinking before I read the dialogue.
BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID SERIES IN THE X-MEN MYTHOS
This isn’t the strongest series to come up with the X-Men revamp but the themes are rather engaging. I love the darker tone that is coming out of this and X-Force and I enjoy most of the characters that are being featured in this series. At the very least, I will be picking up the next issue to see if they can continue the momentum. My fear is that the middle issues are going to be much of the same thing and not bring anything new to the table. 3.5 out of 5 stars for HELLIONS #1.
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